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When Good Things Go Bad
By: Janet Kalandranis
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It’s one of the most well-known and successful organizations. It fights a bad thing in life and works to make it better. As a brand, it’s very visibly prominent and outsiders think very highly of it. That was, of course, until a couple of days ago, when the top spokesperson went into the “bad” limelight and potentially changed the future of this brand forever. The LIVESTRONG Foundation, centered on helping cancer survivors, is now associated with cheating due to its direct connection with Lance Armstrong and his personal choices. So where does the brand go now?

All brands have to deal with negativity at some point, but it’s important for them to have a strategy so the brand can move on to success again. No matter what, the brand has to take a stance and be clear, transparent, and honest with its followers so it can address the issue and hopefully focus on the future. This becomes even harder when a key stakeholder is viewed in a negative light and had previously brought much success to the organization. Lance Armstrong, whether right or wrong, has helped build success for this organization but is now providing some unsettling ground. Supporters of the organization ultimately associate Armstrong with the brand and therefore may not be able to separate his personal career with that of LIVESTRONG.

So the brand had two options: let supporters create their own opinion or pick a stance and let them know what organization is thinking. Luckily LIVESTRONG did what was right for the brand, addressed the issue, and made it public on its site. It’s less about the stance LIVESTRONG took and more about the transparency of the organization to deal with this issue. It gives followers some answers and perspective and lets them know that the organization is still a positive one. This definitely won’t be the end of the conversation, nor will the brand just pick up and be successful from here on out, but at least there’s a small step forward to rebuild what potentially is at stake.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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